There are several advantages to working remotely, including the ability to work from anywhere with an internet connection, increased flexibility and autonomy, and the potential for a better work-life balance. Additionally, remote work can often lead to increased productivity, as it allows employees to work in environments that are conducive to their personal needs and preferences. Other potential benefits of remote work include reduced costs for both the employer and employee, as well as the ability to hire talent from a wider geographical area and obtain a job from a larger pool of offers. Finally working from home is also an extremely effective way to lower your carbon footprint.
How many jobs are available in your city? How many in your country? How many in your continent? Just from a sheer numbers point of view, wouldn't it be better to open up your job hunt?
Just as an example I did some basic searches on LinkedIn to compare. I currently live in Madrid, Spain and I'm a Product Manager. For this job title there are 1,620 jobs being advertised in Madrid and 462 are advertised as fully remote. In the whole of Spain 1,024 jobs are being advertised as fully remote and a whopping 9,607 jobs are being advertised in Europe for remote work. Clearly opening up your job search allows you to apply to more jobs, be more selective about where you apply and have a higher chance of landing a job. I only see advantages and I would encourage anyone looking for a job to have a more global attitude.
There have been several high incident cases of top executives wanting to leave their jobs just to work from home like the rest of us. One such example was Ian Goodfellow, who was in charge of artificial intelligence at Apple but left to work at Google just so he could work from home. It makes sense, what's the point of earning millions just to spend all your time in the car. It's amazing how covid-19 has changed the paradigm and not only when it comes to working from home but also the elimination of business travel. I am always dumbfounded by the fact that a top executive who maybe earns 500,000 USD a year or about 2 grand a day accounting for weekends and holidays will be required to travel so much. 2k a day and they take a flight halfway around the world to go to a meeting wasting 3 days of the week and meeting another five top executives spending $30,000 just for one meeting. I'm not saying meetings aren't worth $30,000. You could easily save the company that kind of money in one meeting but the real question is. Does having that meeting in person add an extra $30,000 to its worth? Maybe, but in my humble opinion these top executives could have achieved a far greater contribution to the company during a week than just one meeting. My message is clear: get on Skype Zoom or Google Meet like the rest of us.
So I talked a lot about the top executives but what about the average Joe. We too value our own time, probably much more so than our employers do. For example, I met a self-employed lawyer today for lunch. He confirmed that working from home drastically increased his productivity. Meetings that once took an hour now took 15 minutes. People tend to get straight to the point when they're on a video call whereas in person they tend to chat about the weather or football or other things people are that interested in.
There are other costs besides time. Traveling to work whether you do it by car or by public transport has a cost. Using a car is not just the fuel costs but also involves additional wear and tear on the car causing expensive and unexpected repair costs. There are even hidden costs such as parking tickets and speeding fines that are avoidable but happen to most of us. Not using the car avoids these hidden and unexpected costs.
Then there are all the things that are more expensive than when you are at home. Whether you go to Starbucks or use the coffee machine at work, it is usually more expensive than making a coffee at home. Using the snack machine might not seem like much but it adds up. Obviously going out to a restaurant for lunch is far more expensive than preparing food at home.
The other issue with all this travel is the environmental cost. Does it really make sense to travel an hour a day in a car burning fossil fuels just to sit in your cubicle and be disturbed by others on the phone.
Especially now that hybrid models are very common it is quite normal to be at work but be on video calls with everyone. So you are at work but still doing your meetings virtually. What’s the point? You could have done that sitting at home in your underwear and saved the planet while you do it.
And finally we shouldn’t forget the point that remote work offers a better work life balance. You can be healthier by preparing food at home and doing a quick 30min workout between meetings. A report by flexwork stated that 58% of employees wanted a fully remote job and a further 39% wanted at least some remote options. A mere 3% wanted to be full time at the office.
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